The civil engineering sector is expected to see similar levels of activity throughout the coming years, with projects remaining mostly unchanged across the country. Though there has been uncertainty for types of project, such as renewable energy development, the interest in common projects such as infrastructure expansion and mining continues to remain at the same high level.
The present financial year should see approximately 63,105 billion dollars’ worth of civil engineering work completed across Australia according to the Australian Construction Industry Forum, though this figure does not include mining projects. Demand is still high for civil engineers, and companies in the sector are keen to encourage graduates to qualify. In recent years, Australian civil engineers have moved abroad to other countries, such as New Zealand, to combat shortages in qualified civil engineers that are needed for expansion projects.
The Australian Construction Industry Forum has identified several sectors that will see significant growth in the coming financial year. These include Sydney’s WestConnex project, which will see urban road development take place over ten years; the improvement of Adelaide’s South Road, which was in need of development; and the upgrading of key sections of the Pacific Highway which fall within New South Wales and Queensland.
The WestConnex project has been estimated at a cost of approximately $11 billion, and will see a link being created between Parramatta and Sydney, as well as Sydney Airport. The upgrades to road infrastructure alone to the South Road and the Pacific Highway will rise to approximately $20 billion between 2016 and 2017, meaning a significant boost to the civil engineering industry as a whole. The highway will reach from Woolgoolga to Ballina, and improvements are thought to be at a cost of $5 billion for the upgrading of aquaducts, viaducts and other bridges.
Aside from construction, the other sectors thought to be of particular significance for the forthcoming year include telecommunications and recreation. The network of national broadband is valued at a cost of over $7 billion for the financial year 2017/18, and all of Australia’s states should see this investment. Recreationally, civil engineering projects includes the accommodation of changes for the Commonwealth Games. Facilities such as the Warwick Farm Racecourse will be redeveloped in advance of the games for the price of $285 million, with others including the Pakenham Racing Club and Melbourne Park.
Overall, expectations for the coming year are high for civil engineering projects, with demand thought to be continuing in a similar vein for qualified professionals in the sector.